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The Reason Why Mortal Kombat's Liu Kang Looks Familiar

Kombatants, rejoice! The trailer for the upcoming Mortal Kombat movie recently dropped, and it looks... pretty amazing, actually. With every small detail you might have missed on the first viewing, the trailer makes it clear that the movie absolutely gets its gory source material — yet, much like its delightfully goofy 1995 predecessor, remains competely willing to play around with the sillier parts of the concept. That seems like the  recipe for a good, if very, very bloody time.

The Mortal Kombat video games have amassed a truly gigantic cast of characters over the years. Still, a handful of core characters are virtually guaranteed to pop up in any adaptation worth its salt. There's the franchise's famous multitude of helpfully color-coded supernatural ninjas. There's Sonya Blade (played in the upcoming movie by Jessica McNamee), the diligent special forces officer, and her laser-eyed, knife-happy nemesis Kano (Josh Lawson of House of Lies fame). The thunder god Raiden (Tadanobu Asano) and smarmy sorcerer Shang Tsung (Chin Han) are also likely to appear — as is, of course, Liu Kang. Arguably the closest thing the franchise has to an overarching protagonist, the dragon-powered, fireball-happy Shaolin monk is a visually interesting fighter with a classic martial arts hero look, so it's no surprise he's set to appear in the new movie, as well. If you manage to pay attention to his face instead of all the fire dragon stuff, you might also recognize the actor from somewhere else too. Here's the reason why Mortal Kombat's Liu Kang looks familiar.

Ludi Lin is Zack in Power Rangers

Anyone who sets out to portray a cartoonishly powered martial artist who fights against monstrous opponents would benefit from some experience as a Power Ranger, and luckily for actor Ludi Lin, he has precisely that. In 2017, Lin starred as Zack Taylor the Black Ranger in the 2017 big-screen adaptation of Power Rangers. Zack is a brash, blunt and abrasive young man who nearly kills his own team when he decides to take his Zord out for a spin without fully controlling it. But there's another side to him in his private life, where he's a sensitive trailer park kid who's terribly afraid that his ailing mother will soon die. 

As Lin told Teen Voguehe's a lifelong Power Rangers fan himself, and he was delighted to be welcomed into the family. "Everyone has been very supportive," the actor said. "The response been great, and when Walter [Emanuel Jones] — the original Black Ranger — visited me at Comic Con at San Diego last year, he was super supportive. The first time I met him, it was like passing on the baton."

Ludi Lin is Murk in Aquaman

In 2018, Lin appeared in his arguably biggest project to date, when the actor portrayed Captain Murk in the DC Extended Universe's take on the Justice League's resident marine superhero. Murk is the loyal henchman of Aquaman's main villain, Orm the Ocean Master (Patrick Wilson). Audiences may remember him for his defeat at the hands of Mera (Amber Heard), which leaves the water-breathing villain exposed to air, and diving for a toilet bowl in a desperate attempt to breathe. However, with his power armor and charged punches, Murk is one of the most dangerous forces in the entire movie, and is even capable of briefly defeating Arthur (Jason Momoa). 

In an interview with Screen RantLin talked about the role, and how it and the movie (which is directed by James Wan) were another step toward fair Asian representation in big budget movies — though, as he put it, "It's still got a long way to go." Lin also revealed that he'd like to portray a superhero himself. "It's definitely something I want to do. To do an Asian-centric superhero. To tell that story. I mean ideally, I'd like to design my own superhero, make my own creation. But I think the Marvel world is pretty incredible as well." 

Ludi Lin is Lance on Black Mirror

If you're a fan of Netflix's Black Mirroryou may already have seen Ludi Lin fight — as well as do some other stuff. In 2019, Charlie Brooker's dystopic sci-fi show opened its series 5 with "Striking Vipers," a curious tale about two friends (Anthony "Falcon" Mackie and Yahya "Dr. Manhattan" Abdul-Mateen II) and their longtime fixation with the titular fighting game. Thing get all kinds of strange when a virtual reality version of the game allows their favorite characters, Lance (Lin) and Roxanne (Pom "Mantis" Klementieff) to do... let's just say other stuff than fighting.

The star-studded episode of the popular show was a pretty good place for an upcoming young actor to be. Not all Black Mirror episodes are created equal, but "Striking Vipers" definitely struck a note. It boasts a very decent 73 percent Tomatometer rating on Rotten Tomatoesand though some lament that it doesn't take its emotional stakes far enough, the critical consensus still calls the episode "an intriguing take on modern romance," as well as "well-produced and thought-provoking."